Tag Archives: LS18

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month begun the explanation of peaceful practices, we learn about the first practice.

“First, he should perform proper practices, approach proper things, and then e pound this sūtra to all living beings.

“Mañjuśrī! What are the proper practices the Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas should perform? He should be patient, mild and meek. He should not be rash, timorous, or attached t anything. He should see things as they are. He should not be attached to his nonattachment to anything. Nor should he be attached to his seeing thing as they are. These are the proper practices the Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas should perform.

“What are the proper things the Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas should approach? He should not approach kings, princes, ministers or other government directors. He should not approach heretics, aspirants for the teaching of Brahman, Nirgraṇṭhas, writer of worldly literature, writers of non-Buddhist songs of praise, Lokāyatas or Anti-Lokāyatas. He should not approach players of dangerous sports such as boxers or wrestlers. He should not approach naṭas or other various amusement-makers. He should not approach caṇḍālas, boar-keepers, shepherds, poulterers, dog-keepers, hunters, fishermen, or other people who do evils for their livelihood. When they come to him, he should expound the Dharma to them, but should not wish [to receive anything from them]. He should not approach those who seek Śrāvakahood, be they bhikṣus, bhikṣunīs, upāsakās or upāsikās. He should not exchange greeting with them. He should not . stay with them in the same monastery, promenade or lecture-hall. When they come to him, he should expound the Dharma to them according to their capacities, but should not wish [to receive anything from them]. Mañjuśrī! The Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas should not expound the Dharma to a woman with a desire for her. He should not wish to look at her. When he enters the house of others, he should not talk with a little girl, an unmarried woman or a widow. He should not approach or make friend with anyone of the five kinds of eunuchs. He should not enter the house of others alone. lf he must enter it alone for some rea on, he should think of the Buddha with all his heart. When he expounds the Dharma to a woman, he should not laugh with his teeth visible to her. He should not expose his breast to her. He should not be friendly with her even for the purpose of expounding the Dharma to her. Needless to say, he should not be so for other purposes. He should not wish to keep young disciples, śramaṇeras or children. He should not wish to have the same teacher with them.

See Peaceful Practices of the Body

Peaceful Practices of the Body

This means acting always with restraint. The Buddha divides these peaceful practices into two parts: “performing proper practices” and “approaching proper things. ”

The first means doing good deeds. Bodhisattvas should always practice the virtue of patience, be mild and gentle, and see things as they truly are.

The second, “approach proper things,” indicates how a Bodhisattva should relate to people—that is, his sphere of associations. The Sutra delineates ten points:

The Bodhisattva should always be willing to teach such people if they ask him, but he should not seek them out or ask for any payment from them. He or she should take pleasure in meditation and, in a quiet place, practice to control the mind (p. 211).

This is the first way to approach proper things. The Buddha also teaches a second way to approach proper things: the Bodhisattva should understand that all things are insubstantial, inexplicable, formless, not born, and without property. “Things can exist only by dependent origination” (p. 212).

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month concluded Chapter 13, we begin Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Thereupon Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas, the Son of the King of the Dharma, said to the Buddha:

“World-Honored One! The e Bodhisattvas are extraordinarily rare. They made a great vow to protect, keep, read, recite and expound this Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma in the evil world after your extinction because they are following you respectfully. World-Honored One! How should an [ordinary] Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas expound this sūtra in the evil world after [your extinction]?”

The Buddha said to him:

“A Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas who wishes to expound this sūtra in the evil world after [ my extinction) should practice four sets of things.

See Peaceful Practices

Peaceful Practices

The previous chapter has explained that anyone who preaches and spreads the Lotus Sutra in the future, the Age of Degeneration, must have stamina. Such a person must resolve to spread the Sutra even though evil people, known as the Three Strong Enemies, will appear in his or her path to trouble or even persecute him. This way of propagation, by confronting the Three Strong Enemies head-on, may strain the preacher’s relationships with others. By way of contrast, there is another practical way to spread the Dharma, with an attitude that is calmer and more relaxed. This attitude is called, “Peaceful Practices.”

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month heard eighty billion nayuta Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas offer to spread the dharma in gāthās, we conclude Chapter 13.

They will despise us,
Saying to us [ironically],
“You are Buddhas.”
But we will endure all these despising words.

There will be many dreadful things
In the evil world of the kalpa of defilements.
Devils will enter the bodies [of those bhikṣus]
And cause them to abuse and insult us.

We will wear the armor of endurance
Because we respect and believe you.
We will endure all these difficulties
In order to expound this sūtra.

We will not spare even our lives.
We treasure only unsurpassed enlightenment.
We will protect and keep the Dharma in the future
If you transmit it to us.

World-Honored One, know this!
Evil bhikṣus in the defiled world will not know
The teachings that you expounded with expedients
According to the capacities of all living beings.

They will speak ill of us,
Or frown at us,
Or drive us out of our monasteries
From time to time.
But we will endure all these evils
Because we are thinking of your command.

When we hear of a person who seeks the Dharma
In any village or city,
We will visit him and expound the Dharma [to him]
If you transmit it to us.

Because we are your messengers,
We are fearless before multitudes.
We will expound the Dharma.
Buddha, do not worry.

We vow all this to you
And also to the Buddhas who have come
From the worlds of the ten quarters.
Buddha, know what we have in our minds!

The Daily Dharma from Aug. 9, 2017, offers this:

We will wear the armor of endurance
Because we respect and believe you.
We will endure all these difficulties
In order to expound this sūtra.

Medicine-King Bodhisattva and Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva, along with their attendants, declare these verses to the Buddha in Chapter Thirteen of the Lotus Sutra. The Buddha had asked previously who would teach the Lotus Sūtra after the Buddha’s death. These Bodhisattvas declare their aspirations to maintain their practice of the Buddha Dharma in the face of unimaginable difficulties. We may believe that this practice will lead to permanent comfort and pleasure. But knowing that we are in a world that is constantly changing, we realize that any difficulty is temporary, and that the way to a beneficial outcome may only go through difficulties. This knowledge and faith in the Buddha’s teachings increases our capacity to be a beneficial force in this world of conflict.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month heard eighty billion nayuta Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas offer to spread the dharma, we repeat in gāthās.

Thereupon the Bodhisattvas sang in Gathas with one voice:

Do not worry!
We will expound this sūtra
In the dreadful, evil world
After your extinction.

Ignorant people will speak ill of us,
Abuse us, and threaten us
With swords or sticks.
But we will endure all this.

Some bhikṣus in the evil world will be cunning.
They will be ready to flatter others.
Thinking that they have obtained what they have not,
Their minds will be filled with arrogance.

Some bhikṣus will live in aranyas or retired places,
And wear patched pieces of cloth.
Thinking that they are practicing the true Way,
They will despise others.

Being attached to worldly profits,
They will expound the Dharma to men in white robes.
They will be respected by the people of the world
As the Arhats who have the six supernatural powers.

They will have evil thoughts.
They will always think of worldly things.
Even when they live in aranyas,
They will take pleasure in saying that we have faults.

They will say of us,
“Those bhikṣus are greedy for worldly profits.
Therefore, they are expounding
The teachings of heretics.
They made that sūtra by themselves
In order to deceive the people of the world.
They are expounding that sūtra
Because they wish to make a name for themselves.”

In order to speak ill of us, in order to slander us
In the midst of the great multitude,
In order to say that we are evil,
They will say to kings, ministers and brahmanas,
And also to householders and other bhikṣus,
“They have wrong views.
They are expounding
The teachings of heretics.”
But we will endure all this
Because we respect you.

The Daily Dharma from Aug. 9, 2017, offers this:

Medicine-King Bodhisattva and Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva, along with their attendants, declare these verses to the Buddha in Chapter Thirteen of the Lotus Sutra. The Buddha had asked previously who would teach the Lotus Sūtra after the Buddha’s death. These Bodhisattvas declare their aspirations to maintain their practice of the Buddha Dharma in the face of unimaginable difficulties. We may believe that this practice will lead to permanent comfort and pleasure. But knowing that we are in a world that is constantly changing, we realize that any difficulty is temporary, and that the way to a beneficial outcome may only go through difficulties. This knowledge and faith in the Buddha’s teachings increases our capacity to be a beneficial force in this world of conflict.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month completed Day 18, we return to the top and the eighty billion nayuta Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas whose offer to spread the dharma goes unanswered.

Thereupon the World-Honored One looked at the eighty billion nayuta Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas. These Bodhisattvas had already reached the stage of avaivartika, turned the irrevocable wheel of the Dharma, and obtained dhārāṇis. They rose from their seats, came to the Buddha, joined their hands together [towards him] with all their hearts, and thought, “If the World-Honored One commands us to keep and expound this sūtra, we will expound the Dharma just as the Buddha teaches.”

They also thought, “The Buddha keeps silence.’ He does not command us. What shall we do?”

In order to follow the wish of the Buddha respectfully, and also to fulfill their original vow, they vowed to the Buddha with a loud voice like the roar of a lion:

“World-Honored One! After your extinction, we will go to any place [not only of this Sahā-World but also] of the worlds of the ten quarters, as often as required, and cause all living beings to copy, keep, read and recite this sūtra, to expound the meanings of it, to act according to the Dharma, and to memorize this sūtra correctly. We shall be able to do all this only by your powers. World-Honored One! Protect us from afar even when you are in another world!”

Imagine being a great Bodhisattva who has “already reached the stage of avaivartika, turned the irrevocable wheel of the Dharma, and obtained dhārāṇis” and still being unsure, waiting for some acknowledgment, some direction, and yet even with these doubts pushing ahead. With a roar like a lion!

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month begun the third set of peaceful practices, we continue with the gāthās, completing Day 18.

Thereupon the World-Honored One, wishing to repeat what he had said, sang in gāthās:

Anyone who wishes to expound this sūtra
Should give up jealousy, anger, arrogance,
Flattery, deception and dishonesty.
He should always be upright.

He should not despise others,
Or have fruitless disputes about the teachings.
He should not perplex others by saying to them:
“You will not be able to attain Buddhahood.”

Any son of mine who expounds the Dharma
Should be gentle, patient and compassionate
Towards all living beings.
He should not be lazy.

In the worlds of the ten quarters,
The great Bodhisattvas are practicing the Way
Out of their compassion towards all living beings.
He should respect them as his great teachers.

He should respect the Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones,
As his unsurpassed fathers.
He should give up arrogance
So that he may expound the Dharma without hindrance.

This is the third set of peaceful practices.
A man of wisdom should perform all this.
Anyone who performs these peaceful practices
Will be respected by innumerable living beings.

The Daily Dharma from Oct. 24, 2016, offers this:

Anyone who wishes to expound this sūtra
Should give up jealousy, anger, arrogance,
Flattery, deception and dishonesty.
He should always be upright.

The Buddha sings these verses to Mañjuśrī in Chapter Fourteen of the Lotus Sūtra in which he describes the peaceful practices of a Bodhisattva. The way we live our lives can either reinforce our delusions or help us gain more clarity about how things really are. In these verses, the Buddha advises against these actions not because he will think less of us when we do them, but because when we find ourselves behaving these ways it is because we are not seeing things for what they are.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month completed the second set of peaceful practices, we begin the third set:

“Again, Mañjuśrī! A Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas who wishes to keep, read and recite this sūtra in the latter days after [my extinction] when the teachings are about to be destroyed, should not nurse jealousy against others, or flatter or deceive them. He should not despise those who study the Way to Buddhahood in any way. He should not speak ill of them or try to point out their faults. Some bhikṣus, bhikṣunīs, upāsakās or upāsikās will seek Śrāvakahood or Pratyekabuddhahood or the Way of Bodhisattvas. He should not disturb or perplex them by saying to them, ‘You are far from enlightenment. You cannot obtain the knowledge of the equality and differences of all things because you are licentious and lazy in seeking enlightenment.’ He should not have fruitless disputes or quarrels about the teachings with others. He should have great compassion towards all living beings. He should look upon all the Tathāgatas as his loving fathers, and upon all the Bodhisattvas as his great teachers. He should bow to all the great Bodhisattvas of the worlds of the ten quarters respectfully and from the bottom of his heart. He should expound the Dharma to all living beings without partiality. He should be obedient to the Dharma. He should not add anything to the Dharma or take away anything from the Dharma. He should not expound more teachings to those who love the Dharma more [than others do].

“Mañjuśrī! A Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas who performs this third set of peaceful practices in the latter days after [my extinction] when the teachings are about to be destroyed, will be able to expound the Dharma without disturbance. He will be able to have good friends when he reads and recites this sūtra. A great multitude will come to him, hear and receive this sūtra from him, keep it after hearing it, recite it after keeping it, expound it after reciting it, copy it or cause others to copy it after expounding it, make offerings to the copy of this sūtra, honor it, respect it, and praise it.”

Daily Dharma from Dec. 6, 2016, offers this:

The Buddha gives this explanation to Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva in Chapter Fourteen of the Lotus Sūtra in which he describes the peaceful practices of a Bodhisattva. The third set of practices involves not despising those who practice the Wonderful Dharma in any way, or hindering their practice by telling them that they are lazy and can never become enlightened. Such treatment goes against the true nature we all share, and can only create conflict.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month completed the second set of peaceful practices to perform, we repeat in gāthās.

Thereupon the World-Honored One, wishing to repeat what he had said, sang in gāthās:

The Bodhisattva should wish
To make all living beings peaceful,
And then expound the Dharma to them.
He should make a seat in a pure place,
Apply ointment to his skin,
Wash dirt and dust off himself,
Wear a new and undefiled robe,
Clean himself within and without,
Sit on the seat of the Dharma peacefully,
And then expound the Dharma in answer to questions.

He should expound with a smile
The wonderful meaning of the Dharma
To bhikṣus and bhikṣunīs,
To upāsakās and upāsikās,
To kings and princes,
To government officials,
And to common people.
When he is asked questions,
He should answer
According to the meaning of the Dharma.

He should expound the Dharma to them
With stories of previous lives, parables and similes.
With these expedients he should cause them
To aspire for enlightenment,
To promote their understanding step by step,
And finally to enter into the Way to Buddhahood.

He should give up indolence,
Negligence, grief and sorrow.
He should expound the Dharma to them
Out of his compassion towards them.

He should expound to them
The teaching of unsurpassed enlightenment
With stories of previous lives
And with innumerable parables and similes
Day and night,
And cause them to rejoice.

He should not wish to receive
Garments or bedding,
Food and drink, or medicine
From them.

He should expound the Dharma to them,
Wishing only two things:
To attain the enlightenment of the Buddha
And also to cause them to do the same.
This is a peaceful offering to them.
This offering will bring them a great benefit.

A Bhikṣu who expounds this Sūtra
Of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma
With patience
After my extinction,
Will be emancipated
From jealousy, anger, and other illusions,
That is to say, from all obstacles.
He will have no sorrow.
He will not be spoken ill of.
He will not be in fear.
He will not be threatened with swords or sticks,
Or driven out [of his monastery].

A man of wisdom
Who controls his mind
As previously stated
Will be peaceful.

His merits will be innumerable.
You would not be able to tell the number of them
By any parable or simile even if you tried to do so
For thousands of billions of kalpas.

The Daily Dharma from July 13, 2016, offers this:

A bhikṣu who expounds this Sūtra
Of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma
With patience
After my extinction,
Will be emancipated
From jealousy, anger, and other illusions,
That is to say, from all obstacles.

The Buddha sings these verses to Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva in Chapter Fourteen of the Lotus Sūtra in which he describes the peaceful practices of a Bodhisattva. We may realize that jealousy and anger are not desirable states, but only because what these states do to our moods. No matter how justified we may feel in our jealousy or anger, these are not pleasant states to be in or even to be around. The Buddha reminds us that the real problem with these states is that they keep us from seeing things as they are. Jealousy exaggerates the importance of what we want but do not have. Anger exaggerates the bad qualities of the targets of our anger. When we focus on this wonderful teaching, develop our patience, and remain determined to benefit all beings, we see things for what they are, and are liberated from illusions.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com